February 21, 2008

barefoot

there's something that has been attracting my attention ever since we arrived in cape town, something that reminds me in the sweetest way that we are no longer living in a typical American city, attending a regular public school. it's one of those almost insignificant details of the school scene that i find my eyes completely observing in such a joyful way: little bare feet walking and running free from constraint in a shoe, with toes that get to grip mother earth and feel one no artificial barrier between their many nerve endings and the natural world below.

today was the first time one of our children exited the school gate barefoot. i immediately called from across the street, 'where are your shoes?' with a gleeful sense of wonderment. dyami simply answered, as if nothing unordinary was occurring, 'in my bag'. i felt so happy for his soul to feel a sense of freedom about removing his shoes -- but also because we are living in South Africa, where it's no big deal to walk through the hall or home from school without one's shoes on - everything is laid back, less restricted, and the children are happy! the rules that matter are strictly enforced, like being responsible and polite, well-mannered and respectful. being barefoot is a sign to me that this land hasn't lost it's sense of what makes us feel connected with the land. and this is something i appreciate (though when we arrived home we put dyami right into the tub to scrub the black stain from his feet). :-)